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Re: DEP5: Public domain works

On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:24:30AM -0500, Michael Terry wrote:
The spec is frustratingly vague when it comes to files in the public
domain.  The current version of the spec only mentions it once, to say
that the Copyright field should note that there are no copyright
holders.  No guidance is given for the License field and there are no
example stanzas of a public domain work.

The current situation means that public domain files are not likely to
be recognizable in a machine-readable way.

I would request that a License short name be added to cover this use
case.  I'm aware that there is some disagreement over whether it is
appropriate to imply that the public domain is a license.  But this is a
not-uncommon use case that it would be nice to address somehow.

I have two proposals for a License short name:
1) "None".  This nicely proclaims that it is not, in fact, a license.
I'm concerned however, that this is a bit vague.  There are, after all,
license-free works [1] and perhaps other non-licensed statuses for
2) "PD".  Obviously, this stands for Public Domain.  The spec can
mention very explicitly that this isn't *really* a license, but rather a
license status.

I think it would be nice if the spec also added an example stanza.
Something like:

File: foo.png
Copyright: None
License: PD
This file is in the public domain.

+1 for the second proposal of adding the pseudo-license "PD".

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private

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